Harry Reid is deeply concerned about the House vote yesterday to defund National Public Radio. The Senate majority leader wants to know: Where will Americans in the Lower 48 hear about sled dog racing? From the Hill:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who had come to the floor to congratulate athletes currently competing in the Iditarod Dog Race in Alaska, prompted the majority leader to speak on the topic.
After listening to Murkowski and asking a couple of questions, Reid explained that he had heard a piece about dog racing on NPR.
“They had a really, really good piece on public radio before the start of the race,” explained Reid. "I hesitate saying this because I know I will probably get in trouble, but this is a good reason why the House vote was bad today to defund public radio."
Reid continued, "The only radio station I can get during the daytime in Searchlight, Nevada is public radio."
Never mind that NPR's disgraced fundraising executive admitted that public radio could survive without federal funding. Never mind that a private cable network, the Discovery Channel, aired a 6-part series all about the Iditarod back in 2008. Never mind that citizens of Searchlight have numerous other media options, from cable TV to satellite radio to high-speed internet access, from which they can have their news and entertainment needs met. Harry Reid is fighting to keep subsidizing public broadcasting on terrestrial radio just like he'll defend subsidizing cowboy poetry.
Relatedly, Bill Frezza at Forbes wrote last week why NPR should be supported by private donors instead of the taxpayer.